Peninsula Planners Deny ‘Shoebox’ on Coronado, Ask for Famosa Blvd as Safe Route

by on December 2, 2019 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach

The final meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board for 2019 closed out the year like the proverbial lamb, except for a project on Coronado that was denied approval by the Board.

Projects – 2 Approved, 1 Denied

There were three projects before the board, two of which passed easily while one was denied.  The denied project was an application to convert a previously approved guest quarters to a companion unit.  This was the result of changing laws that have relaxed standards on secondary dwelling units that make companion units more attractive, such as no requirement for parking.

4411 Coronado Ave. project was opposed by neighbors.

All photos by Geoff Page.

The denied project at 4411 Coronado Ave. was opposed by neighbors.  The structure is an eyesore consisting of what looks like a tall shoebox on end.  It was built over a detached garage to almost 30 feet tall.  There is a bathroom built at ground level, which looks suspicious since the companion unit is up one story. The neighbors complained that the owner was using it or the main house as a short term vacation rental, which is illegal in a residential zone.

They also believe the owner will later turn the garage into another illegal unit The board denied the conversion because of the opposition, the possible usage, and because the structure did not conform with the surrounding community as required by the community plan.  Mostly, it was denied on principal because it is actually, and sadly, legal for now.

Much Ado About Compost

Testimony to the assessment of how low key the meeting was – is that the highlight of the meeting featured a letter about compost from the Board to the City and County. Best to let the letter speak for itself.

“Short-lived climate pollutants (SLPCs) such as methane, refrigerants, and soot particles are some of the most potent contributors to global warming. Methane (CH4) has a global warming potential of 25, indicating that 1 gram of methane (CH4) is equivalent to 25 grams of Carbon dioxide (CO2) over a 100-year time frame. The State of California Air Resources Board passed new rules aiming to meet targets first set in 2015: a 40% reduction in methane and fluorinated gases and a 50% reduction in non-forest black carbon emissions by 2030, below 2013 levels. These rules went into effect January 2018.

Landfill emissions are the 3rd largest source of methane gas in California, accounting for 21% of methane emissions. In landfills, organic matter decomposes under anaerobic conditions and landfill gas is comprised of 50% methane and 50% carbon dioxide. By removing organic waste from landfills, methane emissions can be significantly reduced.

The Peninsula Community Planning Board asks that the City and County of San Diego be a leader and champion to reach the goals set by the Air Resources Board and re-evaluate the current waste management policies. We ask that the City start compost collections for commercial and residential trash pick-up as many cities across the country, such as Seattle and San Francisco are doing already. With increasing housing density and decreasing yard space, backyard composting is not a viable alternative in the long run. We have the opportunity to be a leader in the fight against global warming!”

Bike Lane

Further to the fight against global warming was a draft letter to the city from the Board asking that Famosa Boulevard, from Voltaire to Valeta Street be considered for the Safe Routes to School Program.  The PCPB’s Traffic and Transportation subcommittee drafted the letter identifying seven alleged safety concerns along the route they recommended the city consider.

The seven safety concerns identified in the PCPB letter are:

1. Implement a bike facility from the Correia JH School west fence/ Famosa exit to Voltaire supporting the Safe Routes to School Program.

2. Remove lone/ single parking space from southbound Famosa prior to Nimitz on-ramp to allow for a Class II bike lane and better visibility. Align Famosa double yellow lines at Nimitz on-ramp.

3. Add flex posts to the Class IV Cycle Track adjacent to Correia JH School.

4. Apply green dashed paint markings at the Class IV Cycle Track to Class II interchange.

5. Apply green dashed paint markings for bike/mobility lanes across all street /drive / on-ramp intersections.

6. Remove parking on the south side of Famosa Blvd. to create a continuous Class II bike lane.

7. Diligent and regular parking enforcement of the newly created diagonal parking places of overly long trucks, trailers and other vehicles dangerously extending into the travel lanes of Famosa Boulevard.

There is a new protected bike lane on Famosa starting at Valeta and running south for a short distance along the new retaining wall bordering Correia Middle School. Several complaints were heard about this new protected lane. The bike lane is against the curb and there is diagonal parking between the bike lane and moving traffic.

There are problems with cars on Famosa either parking too far into the bike lane or not close enough to it leaving vehicles sticking too far out into the traffic lane. There were other complaints about oversized vehicles like large trucks or boats on trailers being parked there.

Other Items of Note

There were two small items of note.  There was a complaint from Point Loma Association member  Jim Southerland about the illegal early appearance of campaign signs.  There are laws governing when these signs may be posted, usually within 90 days of an election.  The primaries will be held on the third of March, more than 90 days from now.

The other item of note was a complaint submitted by Jesse Benson, who ran for a seat in the March 2019 election.  For a brief period of time Benson tied for one seat with another candidate but after a recount, lost the seat by one vote. The complaint calls for removing two board members for alleged election violations.  Because the complaint is largely election based, it will probably be dismissed because it was not filed within the deadline required by the PCPB by-laws.

The PCPB will not meet in December.  The next meeting will be January 16, 2020.

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